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Transferring a domain to Squarespace

If you purchased a domain from a third-party provider, you can transfer it to Squarespace and manage it within your site. Transferring your domain lets you manage all of your domain settings and billing in one place. This guide reviews how to transfer a domain registered elsewhere to Squarespace.

Before you begin

  • You can transfer the domain to a trial or paid site.
  • If you don’t have a Squarespace site yet, start with a domain transfer.
  • If your domain is already connected to a Squarespace site, you can still transfer it to Squarespace without interrupting your domain service.
  • To ensure a smooth transition, we recommend that the person listed as the domain administrator handle the transfer. If you’re the domain administrator, ensure that the administrator email address listed for your domain is accurate and accessible. You’ll use this email address to approve the transfer.
  • Changing your domain contact information can lock the domain for 60 days and block the transfer. Before changing any contact information, ask your provider if this will lock your domain.
  • To move a Squarespace Domain to a different Squarespace site, see Moving a domain betweens sites.
  • For common questions and answers about transferring a domain, visit Domain transfers FAQ.

Timing

Domain transfer speed depends on your current domain provider. Some domains transfer within one day, while others can take closer to 15 days to complete. By keeping the recommended transfer settings intact, you shouldn’t experience any domain downtime.

Pricing and billing

Here's how much it costs to transfer a domain to Squarespace and how registration works:

  • Pricing is based on the TLD, from $20 to $70.
  • To complete the transfer, you'll pay for one year of domain registration.
  • There's no extra fee for the transfer itself.
  • You'll keep the time remaining on your registration on top of the extra year you'll register through us.
  • If you're eligible, the additional year of registration could be free.
  • Your domain will renew at the same price at the end of its registration term.
  • Your domain includes free Whois Privacy and SSL.

For more details, see our FAQ.

Transfer requirements

Before getting started, ensure your domain is eligible for transfer. If you’re not sure if your domain meets these rules, check with your current registrar.

  • The domain’s TLD must be on our supported TLD list
  • We don’t support registry premium domains.
  • Sixty days must have elapsed since you registered or transferred the domain with your current provider.
  • Your domain must be active with your current provider. If your domain is past due, but not completely expired, ask your provider if it's eligible for transfer before starting the process.
  • You’ll need to unlock your domain to transfer it.
  • Your domain’s Whois privacy must be disabled.
  • You’ll need access to a valid domain administrator email address to approve the transfer request.
  • We don’t accept domains with current registration terms longer than 9 years.
  • You must approve the transfer via email within five days of receiving your purchase receipt on Squarespace, or the transfer will be automatically cancelled.

If your domain doesn't meet these requirements, you can try connecting it to your site instead.

Provider-specific guides

Instead of following the general instructions on this page, you can use one of these step-by-step guides for transferring domains from the following providers: 

Moving email records

If you have a custom email address linked to your domain, you can transfer your MX records to Squarespace along with your domain. Your MX records keep your email hosted with your current email provider. See Step 5 for more information on transferring DNS settings.
 
Before transferring your domain to Squarespace, we recommend contacting your current email provider to ensure that there won’t be any restrictions or issues by moving to Squarespace. We also recommend backing up any essential emails, contacts, or settings you may need.

Step 1 - Prepare your domain with your current provider

Complete the following steps with your current domain provider to make your domain available for transfer.

  1. Verify the administrator email address listed for the domain. All communications regarding the transfer will be sent to this email address.
  2. Follow your provider’s instructions to unlock your domain for transfer. Your domain can’t be transferred while it’s locked.
  3. Ensure that Whois privacy is disabled. This means that your Whois contact information will be public during the transfer, but the privacy will automatically re-enable after your domain is successfully transferred.
  4. Get an authorization code, and keep it in a safe and accessible place. See the next step for more help.

Step 2 - Get the authorization code

Get the authorization code from your provider. This may also be called an “EPP code” or “transfer key.” You might find this in your provider’s settings, or they might email it. Some providers may need a day or two to generate this code, so we recommend requesting it as soon as you’ve unlocked your domain and disabled Whois privacy.

You’ll enter this code to complete your transfer, so ensure that you have access to it, or copy and paste it in a safe place before continuing.

Step 3 - Start the transfer in Squarespace

Begin the transfer process in your Squarespace site’s Domains panel.

  1. Confirm that you’re logged into the correct Squarespace site.  
  2. In the Home Menu, click Settings, and then click Domains.
  3. Click Use a domain I own.
  4. Enter the full domain name you’re transferring in the Domain Name box, and then click Continue.

If you see an error message at this point, ensure that your domain meets all of our transfer requirements. If it does, contact your current domain provider to investigate.

enter_domain_name.jpg

Step 4 - Confirm privacy settings

A window will open. To begin the transfer, both of the following options must be confirmed with a green check mark:

  • Unlock Domain - Allows the domain to be transferred
  • Disable Whois Privacy - Ensures that you receive all relevant transfer emails. Confirm that the email address listed is correct. 

If either option displays a red !, contact your domain provider for help, then click Refresh to try again.

You'll also see a reminder to request an authorization code from your provider, if you haven't already. 

If both options look correct, click Continue.

prepare_domain_for_transfer.jpg

Step 5 - Review DNS settings

In the next window, confirm the DNS records to move to Squarespace. To minimize any downtime, we recommend keeping them all toggled to ON. Any options toggled to OFF must be managed manually.

  • Point to Squarespace - Change CNAME and A records to point the domain to Squarespace.
  • Keep Other DNS Records - Keep other DNS records intact, like MX records for email. Click View records to review the current DNS settings.
  • Move Nameservers to Squarespace - Move the domain's nameservers to Squarespace. If you toggle this option off, it’s not possible to move DNS records to Squarespace.

If all settings look correct, click Continue.

transfer_dns_settings.jpg

Step 6 - Review and confirm registration details

In the next window, confirm the domain’s registration details. These fields will automatically populate with information we detect from your Whois records with your original registrar.  

Ensure that everything looks correct and all required fields are complete, then click Continue. If you’ve added any new data, your Whois records will update when your transfer is complete.

Step 7 - Confirm registration terms and billing

Note: If your site is on a trial, you'll be prompted to enter your payment information before this step. 

By transferring your domain to Squarespace, you’ll be charged for one additional year of domain registration with Squarespace. Pricing is based on your domain’s TLD, and may be free if you’re eligible. 

To confirm the transfer:

  1. Confirm the credit card on file.
  2. Confirm the total charge for one year of domain registration.
  3. Review the terms in the white box, including your domain’s new expiration date.
  4. If everything looks correct, click Transfer. 

If your payment is successful, you’ll see a purchase receipt. Click Continue to return to your Domains panel.

confirm_transfer.jpg

Step 8 - Confirm via email

Next, you’ll receive a "Transfer Request" email from customercare@squarespace.com. Follow the steps in the email to enter your authorization code and approve the transfer.

The transfer must be approved via this link within five days of receiving your purchase receipt on Squarespace, or it will automatically cancel.

Tip: The authorization code is a unique string of letters, numbers, and other characters. Because it can be a complex code, we recommend copying and pasting it instead of typing it.

If you're having trouble finding this email, you can ask Squarespace to resend it. Click the pending domain in your Domains panel, then click Resend Email

If you authorized a domain transfer from this email address previously, we may automatically authorize the transfer and skip sending you this email. Your original domain provider still needs to approve the domain’s release on their end.

Step 9 - Wait and test

After completing the steps above, your previous registrar needs to release the domain. Depending on the provider, this can take up to 15 days. This timing is out of Squarespace’s control, but we recommend logging into your provider’s account to see if you can confirm the release manually.

Note: If your domain transfer is still pending after 15 days and you’ve correctly followed all steps above, contact your current domain provider for more details.

Visit the Domains panel at any time to check your progress. When the domain is fully transferred, it will appear in the Domains panel with a green label.

Next steps

After the domain transfer is complete, you can: 

Cancel or remove the transfer

You can cancel the pending transfer any time before entering your authorization code. Cancelling stops the transfer and refunds any amount paid for the additional year of registration.

Use the following steps to cancel:

  1. In the Home Menu, click Settings, and then click Domains.
  2. Click the domain under Transfers In Progress.
  3. Click Cancel Transfer.
  4. On the summary page, confirm the refund amount and click Cancel Transfer.
  5. In the pop-up, click Confirm to proceed. You’ll receive an email confirming the cancellation and refund.

If you already approved the transfer by entering the authorization code, you can ask your current provider to deny it instead. This may or may not be possible.

If the transfer failed and you need to try again, you can remove the current transfer before starting over. While this step isn't necessary, you may find it easier to keep track of pending transfers. 

  1. In the Home Menu, click Settings, and then click Domains.
  2. Click the domain under Transfers In Progress.
  3. In the Transfer Failed box, click Done.

You may need to refresh your browser for the failed domain to disappear. 

Troubleshooting failed transfers

If your domain fails to transfer, you’ll get an email from Squarespace. This can happen if you entered wrong information in the registration field, entered the authorization code incorrectly, or for other reasons. For a full list of scenarios, see our FAQ

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Transferring a domain to Squarespace